This weekend is the perfect time to get out on the water and fish, and you won't even have to pay for a licence.
On July 14 and 15, residents and visitors won’t need to purchase a fishing licence to fish in any of Saskatchewan’s public waters. The first free fishing weekend in the province was held in the summer of 1989, encouraging participation in sportfishing and to increase public awareness about the outdoor opportunities in the province.
Murray Koob, Sport Fish Specialist with the Ministry of Environment told battlefordsNOW why the province holds the free fishing weekends each year.
“It’s part of a national promotion to get people out fishing,” he said. “Were one of all provinces to provide free opportunities to get out without a license and experience the sport of fishing. It helps promote an appreciation of the outdoors.”
When it comes to the rules and regulations around fishing, Koob said those still apply.
“The normal regulations you experience throughout the year apply on the weekend,” Koob said. “The only thing you don’t need is a licence to fish on the 14th and 15th.”
The limiting regulations are still are in place for the weekend as well, Koob added.
When people plan to bait their hooks for the weekend, its nothing different than any other day of the year in open water fishing. That means no live minnows as bait, though live leeches and nightcrawlers are still permitted, as are dead minnows.
The government also wants people to remember the guidelines when it comes to how many lines you fish.
“You have to be within 25 metres of your line at all times, and you must be in sight,” Koob said. “You can only fish one line in open water season.”
National Parks are excluded from the free fishing weekend, while all provincial parks are free to fish in the open water.
Editor's Note: This story was updated at 8:43 a.m. on Thursday, July 12, 2018 to correct an error regarding size limitations.
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